RU Faculty Advisers

The Faculty Board of Advisers are Rutgers faculty members who identify with the values and mission of the Community.  Although there is no official commitment, members often engage in a variety of activities with Rutgers students and alumni through the Community.  For instance, many:

-Partake in informal dinners with Rutgers students through the various student clubs associated with the Community; discussing life, religion, academic interests and whatever else comes up.

-Participate in lectures, debates and other events hosted by the Humanist Community at Rutgers.

-Write for the associated Rutgers Humanist Blog Applied Sentience.  Some Board members periodically add to the conversation, writing pieces within their field or more generally in an effort to engage and educate the Rutgers community and beyond.

Dr. Katalin Balog

LakeridgeI came to the US in 1989 from my native Budapest.  I got my PhD at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in 1998. I taught philosophy at Yale University between 2000 and 2010. I have recently accepted an offer from Rutgers University/Newark and started as an associate professor here in the Fall of 2010. I am also on the graduate faculty at Rutgers/New Brunswick.

My primary areas of research are the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. The problems that interest me most, the mind-body problem, personal identity and free will lie at their intersection. I am currently writing a monograph tentatively entitled Through a glass darkly: conceivability and the Mind-Body Problem. In it I argue that our lack of understanding the connection between mind and body is due to the nature of phenomenal concepts. In addition to my interest in analytic philosophy of mind and metaphysics, I have a deep interest in both Western (cognitive and clinical), and Eastern (Buddhist) psychology, and also in Buddhist philosophy. I am currently teaching an undergraduate class on Human Nature which spans these diverse areas of interest. For more you can read an interview with me on Zombies, Human Sonar, and Transhumanism.

Dr. Gary Brill

Dr. Gary Brill holds a Ph.D. in Personality and Social Psychology from New York University. From 2002 to 2017, Dr. Brill taught in the Psychology Department at Rutgers. Although now retired, he remains active in the academic psychology community. He is the co-founder and current campus coordinator of the Humanist Community at Rutgers University as well as a board member of the New Jersey Humanist Network.

Dr. Brill’s interests lie in the area of theoretical and philosophical psychology, particularly in addressing the diversity of approaches to human nature and the mind: Should psychologists view people as agentic, intentionally guiding our own lives, or would it be better to attempt to uncover the laws of nature that cause our thoughts and behaviors? Is it possible, or even desirable, to have a unified theory of psychology? If so, how might we go about developing such a theory?

Dr. Julien Musolino

Dr. Julien Musolino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Maryland and held appointments at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University before moving to Rutgers in 2007.

Dr. Musolino specializes in the psychology of language and he is the director of the Psycholinguistics Laboratory at Rutgers University. More broadly, he has a deep interest in science, its history, and the public understanding of science. He is currently writing a popular science book entitled The Emperor’s New Soul (click here to listen to an interview) in which he argues that the notion of soul that most people in America believe in corresponds to a set of scientific hypotheses and that modern science gives us every reason to believe that human beings do not have souls. Dr. Musolino also gives public lectures on these topics, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland (Musolino interview).

Dr. Daniel Ogilvie

Dr. Daniel Ogilvie is a retired professor from in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University. He received his BA (1961) and Ph.D. (1967) at Harvard University where he also taught until 1970 when he accepted a faculty position at Livingston College, which, at the time, was a new campus of Rutgers New Brunswick.

His research has been primarily in the area of personality psychology. He has studied human motivation, developed methods of representing people’s working models of themselves, and has drawn attention to the concept of the “undesired self” by demonstrating that it is a more potent marker for self-evaluation than is the more popular concept of the “ideal self”. Near the end of his career he designed and co-taught a popular undergraduate course at Rutgers on the causes and consequences of people’s beliefs about the soul and its survival after the death of the body. He is currently writing about that topic and gave a TED talk on soul and afterlife beliefs in March, 2013.

Dr. Frank Popper

Frank-PopperFrank J. Popper teaches land-use planning and its political and cultural implications in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, where he also participates in the American Studies, Geography and Political Science Departments and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Honors Program. He teaches regularly with his wife Deborah E. Popper (Rutgers MA, ’87; PhD, ’92), a geographer at the College of Staten Island/City University of New York, in the Environmental Studies Program at Princeton University.

Together the Poppers do research on the American frontier, Great Plains, Midwest, New England and South; shrinking cities; Locally Unwanted Land Uses (or LULUs); and economic theory. They originated the Buffalo Commons as a concept for the land-use, environmental and natural-resource future of the American and Canadian Great Plains, and the idea has been widely influential. Anne Matthews’ book about the Buffalo Commons, “Where the Buffalo Roam” (1992), was one of four finalists for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.  Click here to hear Professor Popper discuss some of his research on important recent changes in American Growth.

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